It's really all about the money isn't it. This little snippet from the ASH site.
We also believe that the Government should, in addition, increase tobacco prices this year by 5% above the projected rate of inflation through taxation. The attached report for ASH models the impact both in terms of the impact on public finances and economic benefit from such a tax increase and finds that government revenues will increase by over £500 million a year, amounting to £2.6 billion over five years. These benefits arise from the following revenue streams set out in the table below:
Increased revenue from tobacco taxation;
Reductions in healthcare costs;
Increased tax receipts from additional years of working life;
Increased tax receipts from reduced absenteeism;
Reduced spending on benefits relating on benefits related to sickness and disability; taking into account
Increased spending on state benefits for retired people.
Here is the link. Don't go there if you have high blood pressure.Insufferable prigs